Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pi are not square

It embarrasses me to post these photos, it really does. Here's the original pi sock, as photographed last year.

And here it is with its mate, as finished earlier this week.

I have NO idea what happened. Same yarn, same needles, same knitter . . . and yet. One thing that did occur to me is that the yarn stretched when I left it wound in balls for a year. This is certainly possible, especially since I hand-wind my yarn, rather tightly. I'm not sure, though. You'd think I'd get to be a tighter knitter as I knit more and gain more experience, but apparently not.

What I'm going to try to take away from this is that it was an incredibly valuable lesson in a lot of ways. I knit a lot in college, but more or less stopped when I went to grad school. I only picked it up again spring of last year at the encouragement of my then-boyfriend. And then . . . then I was obsessed. All of a sudden I was knitting all the time, reading knit blogs, and getting more ambitious by the second. But I still had a long way to go, and these socks demonstrate that. When I first got the idea to knit pi socks, I wouldn't have dreamed of doing a little swatching and writing my own pattern from scratch. I adapted someone else's. It was awful--the pattern didn't suit the concept, the yarn, or the way I knit, and the results were disastrous. Now I would just make my own pattern. (Which I would then proceed not to follow, but that's neither here nor there.)

The other thing was the yarn. I just pulled what I had from the stash without really thinking through what the pattern demanded or the qualities of the yarn I had (in this case, a cotton blend). Nowadays, I'd try to marry the yarn to the pattern.

Finally, I knew when I finished the first sock that nothing worked. But, stubborn me, I didn't frog it and dispose of it then and there. The stubbornness remains a constant, but now I wouldn't have gotten past the cuff on that first sock. I'm much more flexible and imaginative now . . . I only hope I'll continue to grow as I keep on knitting.

And in the meantime, these socks are pretty comfy.


Anonymous said...

Pshaw! Those socks are close enough the same...afterall, nobody's feet are the same size anyway. My Dad's left foot is significantly slimmer than the other and just this summer he went shoe shopping (all on his own!) and came back, the proud owner of a pair of sneakers and a package of padded heel insets made "for women's high heels!"


Lanafactrix said...

True, my left foot is slightly bigger than my right. But still . . .

Anonymous said...


AlisonH said...

I'm trying to figure out what the problem is--I like them quite a bit. If it's the striping, they're identical where everyone else will see them and just plain fun and a giggle inside the shoe where nobody else will. Nor would they notice anyway. They're beautiful socks!